Subject: The Plain Truth
Re: "Chatterbox: Godel, Escher, Brock, Part 2"
From: Cato the Censor
Date: Wed Jun 27 8:45 p.m. PT
Although I am Jesuit-educated, there is no better way to bring out the thug in me (which admittedly is never very far below the surface) than actually trying to use the intellectual fripperies of the Liar's Paradox and its greconymic cousins. I have no doubt that the mathematics have utility for some genius inventing a more efficient method of routing telephone calls. However, for the rest of us, it is really far too cute to be trotting out equations to determine whether we should believe Brock. The real question underneath the calculus is whether you can believe a demonstrated liar. … In this case, the answer is straightforward and obvious. If you are a liberal, Brock is now telling the truth. If you are a conservative, he is now lying.
Subject: Forget the Problems
Re: "Culturebox: Plotholes—Memento"
Date: Thu Jun 28 10:45 p.m. PT
[Editor's note: You might not want to read this post if you're planning to see Memento.]
I agree! I disagree! All of the "plot holes" here are things that could be picked up by a very astute watcher of the film on their first viewing. However, at the end of the movie, everything does end up making sense. Leonard is engaged in an intricate game of self-deception which does look like anteriograde amnesia almost all of the time except when it would be inconvenient. This is OK—it fits. It's not even special pleading: The message of the film is that we're all engaged in self-deception towards the end of achieving meaning in life; Leonard is just an extreme case.
Subject: Why Popular Is Good
Re: "Culturebox: Not Another Impressionism Show"
From: Rich Mahady
Date: Wed Jun 27 6:23 a.m. PT
If another Impressionist painter's show means another museum dealing with sold-out showings, then let there be more of them! I am well beyond the point of tolerating arts organizations that believe that we taxpayers owe them a living. It is as intolerable for the Brooklyn museum or the MFA in Boston to ask for money from the taxpayers as it is for Giuliani to ask for the same taxpayers to subsidize Steinbrenner's next pleasure palace or the Dead Sox to ask Massachusetts to cough up for the next Fenway.
Subject: Fatal Attraction
Re: "Sports Nut: Stay Home"
From: Patrick M.Tigue
Date: Thu Jun 28 9:58 a.m. PT
We follow our favorite teams not primarily to watch spectacular displays of athleticism but to watch spectacular displays of courage, fortitude, tragedy, and drama. We want to commiserate with our teams and fellow fans when we suffer and celebrate the joy when they are victorious. It doesn't much matter which. This is what explains the fatalistic devotion of fans of the Cubs, Browns, Bills, and my own personal tragedy, the Boston Red Sox. We love our teams for their passion, not their athletics.
The death penalty was the hot topic in the "Today's Papers" Fray: Joann Prinzivalli started a good thread here, and WillV's question—"Please name an innocent person who has been executed"—produced a big reaction for such a short post.
The Fray poster known as Hedgehog had his own summary of this "The Earthling" on missile defense. He says if Robert Wright were Winston Churchill, a famous quotation could be rewritten: "We will inconvenience the Nazis in the air, we will get in their way on the sea, and we will bother them on the ground."
Where are the women star posters? Kit posts this question frequently, and Marti has her say, too, in this thread. Mangar thinks women just don't care enough about status symbols. He certainly has an interesting view of the Fray—in a post asking us to stick with the term "Fraygrant," his defense affectionately describes Fray posters as "undisciplined, wild, often cantankerous, and spiteful." Of the suggested new names, "Fraysters" is looking like a winner, and so is Richard Walrath, who may have been the first to suggest it here (though we're open to being told of earlier citations). Mr. Walrath is hoping for a large prize. Perhaps he doesn't know the Fray quite as well as we thought …